Here’s Why Iowa Police Chief Wants You to Drop Off Unused Pills Saturday, Plus Your Vaping Devices

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Saturday will mark a first in the state: For the first time, Iowans can drop off vaping and electronic cigarette devices, along with their unused prescription drugs as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

“Take back is a free, no questions asked opportunity,” said Dale Woolery, director of the Governor’s Office on Drug Control Policy.

Woolery said more than 100 sites across the state will accept prescription drugs and vaping devices on Saturday, although people should remove the lithium ion batteries from vaping devices before dropping them off.

For a list of sites, click here. 

Vaping-related illnesses have killed dozens of people across the country and sickened hundreds more, prompting states to limit their use.

Governor Kim Reynolds is studying options about whether to take action to join the effort to restrict vaping. “We’re close,” the governor said Tuesday morning about reaching a decision, “We’re going to continue to educate in the interim.”

West Des Moines Police Chief Chris Scott urged Iowans to take part in Saturday’s efforts to remove unwanted prescription drugs, so they aren’t as readily available to those who could abuse them. “Leaving it in your medicine cabinet offers an opportunity.”

Statistics provided by Governor Kim Reynolds and staff:

38,000 pounds of unwanted medicine dropped off during last year’s prescription drug take back

137 Iowans died in 2018 from drug overdose

33% decline in overdose deaths in 2018 compared to 2017

2 times as many overdose deaths in 2018 compared to 20 years ago



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